UPDATED 12:16 EDT / MAY 15 2024

TheCUBE talks with Red Hat CEO Matt Hicks at Red Hat Summit. AI

Three insights you might have missed from theCUBE’s coverage of Red Hat Summit

There’s no shortage of excitement around the possibilities that surround AI and open-source technology. Automation is playing a huge role for AI, including when it comes to bridging the world of hybrid cloud.

Exploring the future of hybrid cloud and open-source technology within Red Hat Inc.’s ecosystem was a central focus of the recent Red Hat Summit. This was also the second year that AnsibleFest was held in the same place as the summit.

The overall takeaway from the event was that it represented a journey, according to Bob Laliberte, principal analyst at theCUBE Research, in an analysis of the event. There’s no one product that’s going to be a destination, he noted.

“That was evident in their partner ecosystems, about, ‘How do we help accelerate the journey?'” Laliberte said. “A lot of things were around how to drive better business outcomes. It wasn’t just about technology for technology’s sake. The most common thing that I heard, especially from customers, was probably around how do I accelerate that time to market? How do I improve my developer productivity leveraging AI so that I can better service my customers and deliver better experiences?”

Analysts for theCUBE spoke with IT professionals, developers, customers and analysts during the event. They explored how Red Hat is aiming to maintain its expanding market position as open-source helps drive AI initiatives further into enterprise sectors. (* Disclosure below.)

Here’s theCUBE’s complete Red Hat Summit “AnalystANGLE” video analysis with Laliberte and theCUBE Research principal analyst Rob Strechay:

Here are three key insights you might have missed from the Red Hat Summit event:

1. Red Hat revealed its vision for AI and open-source.

As the event kicked off, it became clear that the running theme was that Red Hat is approaching its AI strategy much like it had approached every product it had launched — with an ethos of openness, flexibility, choice, democratization and demystification. That was clear through what Matt Hicks (pictured), president and chief executive officer of Red Hat, and Ashesh Badani, chief product officer at Red Hat, had been talking about in laying the groundwork for the event, according to Strechay.

“[It] was that literally from bringing Granite, both the models, the language model and the code assist, with IBM to be open-sourced, I mean, is huge — and looking and talking about the fact that, we’re doing this similar to how Meta is going about things, that openness of AI,” Strechay said.

Perhaps the big takeaway from the entire event shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone: The topics discussed at the Red Hat Summit started with AI and continued on throughout. The difference, however, is that this is not just any kind of proprietary AI, according to Laliberte.

Rob Strechay and Rebecca Knight, theCUBE analysts, discussed the latest news at the Red Hat Summit on May 7 2024.

Rob Strechay and Rebecca Knight, theCUBE analysts, provided a keynote analysis at Red Hat Summit.

“The real focus here is on open-source AI and how that can really enable change in an organization and how it can foster transformation, modernization. Those are a lot of big topics,” he said.

From a high level, one of the other impressive topics was the real commitment to the open partnership model and having ecosystems, according to Laliberte. That doesn’t involve just ecosystems involving a couple of partners, but a defined ecosystem that involves having partners along each stage of the journey, he noted.

“Where not just one or two, but multiple partners can play to form the appropriate solution for the customer,” Laliberte said. “Giving them a lot of open, a lot of choice for all that, and then trying to drive that transformation.”

Modernization was also an important topic being discussed. There was a lot of interest in OpenShift Virtualization and how organizations move to that.

“The overall impression I got was that Red Hat was really trying to democratize AI for the enterprises and drive that AI and model tuning and things like that on-premises with some of their announcements,” Laliberte said.

When it comes to AI development, the two ingredients at the center for Red Hat are the opening of language and code models, according to Hicks. He laid out how the company is seeking to drive AI forward while integrating open-source principles.

“If we look at what’s happening in AI, there’s a language element … and a coding element that’s near and dear to my heart,” Hicks said. “I think it will change how we write apps, how we build better quality. Hand in hand with that goes the InstructLab technology.”

Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with Hicks:

2. Strategic partnerships are viewed as key in driving technological evolution.

Red Hat unveiled its strategy for AI and open source, but the event was also an opportunity to learn more about the partnerships that are viewed as being key in making it happen. One such strategic advantage involves Salesforce Inc.’s collaboration with Red Hat on enterprise innovation.

Recently, Salesforce strengthened and extended its existing relationships with Red Hat, including when it comes to the transition to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9. While it starts with a strategic partnership, when one peels it back, there’s a next piece involved, according to Chris Wright, chief technology officer and senior vice president of global engineering at Red Hat.

“That was connection to the engineering experts, that not only can support something like a complex tool like an operating system, but are actually the authors of a lot of the content in the operating system,” Wright said. “They’re looking at, where do we get that level of expertise so we don’t have to build it in-house. It’s like a perfect partnership.”

Stefanie Chiras, senior vice president of partnership ecosystem success at Red Hat, discussed why partnerships are key during the Red Hat Summit May 7 2024

During Red Hat Summit, Stefanie Chiras, SVP of partnership ecosystem success at Red Hat, discussed why partnerships are key.

Red Hat has sought to put its partners at the heart of its AI innovation. That’s where InstructLab comes into play, given that partners can add in expertise in an easy way, according to Stefanie Chiras, senior vice president of partner ecosystem success at Red Hat.

“You don’t need a fleet of data scientists; you don’t need a lot of deep experience,” Chiras said. “They get to bring their expertise and knowledge to their customer set. To me, it opens up a whole new paradigm. To me, RHEL AI redefines what platform is in the AI era.”

Red Hat’s open-source AI innovations, meanwhile, are set to transform business landscapes, according to Mike Ferris, senior vice president and chief strategy officer of Red Hat. Open source and delivering platforms are the two founding elements of any move that the company makes, he noted.

“When we talk about the platforms aspect here, extending what we’ve been doing with customers for decades now in Enterprise Linux, OpenShift, of course, automation with Ansible, into the space of AI, really means taking them on a journey from everything they’ve already employed, all the infrastructure they’ve spent, all the skills they’ve been developing on that, and then adding to it,” Ferris said.

Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with Chris Wright:

3. From Nvidia to Intel, new partnerships were on display.

Talking about the potential of partnerships is one thing, but delivering on those is another. Red Hat Summit had plenty of the latter, including news on the partnership between Red Hat and Nvidia Corp. The partnership is intended to enable users to integrate Nvidia’s NIM microservices into models trained on Red Hat OpenShift AI, with a goal of shortening time-to-market for AI applications. That’s important because generative AI is no good if it’s not in production, according to Justin Boitano, vice president of enterprise AI at Nvidia.

Justin Boitano, vice president of enterprise AI at Nvidia, and Steven Huels vice president and general manager of the AI Business Unit at Red Hat, discussed the two company's partnership at Red Hat Summit May 7 2024

Justin Boitano and Steven Huels discussed the Red Hat/Nvidia partnership.

“What you want to do is figure out how to drive the accuracy up to get a business outcome going, get it into production, and then you can figure out how to shrink the models and cost-reduce it and make it more cost-effective,” he said.

Intel Corp. and Red Hat also joined forces, as Red Hat announced plans to bring Intel’s most advanced artificial intelligence processors to its customers. Red Hat draws on ecosystem partners such as Intel to supply effective and efficient processor technology.

“What we talk to [customers] about a lot is our hybrid cloud story, especially with OpenShift AI where we can provide a core platform that allows you to build, train, tune, deploy, monitor and manage those models,” said Steven Huels, vice president and general manager of the AI Business Unit at Red Hat. “Underpinning that is a lot of our ecosystem. We give them the optionality based on the type of workload, the specific use case.”

Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with Steven Huels and Justin Boitano:

To watch more of theCUBE’s coverage of the Red Hat Summit event, here’s our complete event video playlist:

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for Red Hat Summit. Neither Red Hat, the sponsor of theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

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